Dr. Elizabeth Dorn Lublin and the History of Japan

Professor Elizabeth Dorn Lublin is a history professor at Wayne State University. She does research on Japan and the history and culture within Japan. Lublin says she became interested in Japan after spending the summer before her senior year in high school there. She loved the experience and decided to go back to Japan to learn more about its culture and history. Lublin has lived in Japan for a combined total of seven years and she considers Japan her second home.

In 2010, Lublin wrote her first book titled Reforming Japan: The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in the Meiji Period. Lublin says that reforming Japan was her doctorial dissertation in revised form. The book is about The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the organizational development of the group during the Meiji Period. The first half of the book focuses on the establishment of this women’s group and the growth and expansion of the group. The second half of the book she says is more topical and she looks at anti-prostitution activism, anti-smoking activism, and the ways in which the group used nationalism, socialism, and the imperial family to try and advance their own reforms.

Currently, Lublin is working on her second book, which will follow Japan’s tobacco industry. In the book Lublin says she will focus on how the tobacco industry influenced social reform and how tobacco was viewed socially. The book will discuss people who were against tobacco and how tobacco played a part in Japan’s economy. In the book, Lublin says she will also focus on advertisement and the way that tobacco was advertised in Japan. She will focus on the images that were used on tobacco products and how advertisement influenced the distribution of tobacco in Japan. Lublin says that she is very excited about the research she has been finding out about advertisement in Japan because she says it is something new and something she has not dealt with before in the past.

To find out more about Elizabeth Dorn Lublin or her research on Japan, click here.

Here is a short review about the book Reforming Japan: The Women’s Christian Temperance Union in the Meiji Period.


2 thoughts on “Dr. Elizabeth Dorn Lublin and the History of Japan”

  1. Hi Makayla, I thought you presented the information from Dr. Lublin very concisely and easy to read. When I read this, I was reminded of this article (http://gaijinchronicles.com/2006/10/11/chain-smoking/) that I read a while ago. That article is when I first became aware of how prevalent smoking is in Japan, which I’m sure has a lot to do with the influence of American culture. I like to hear of an anti-smoking initiative in Japan and would be interested in a follow-up about what Dr. Lublin finds out. The whole period of history after Commodore Perry landed in Japan is really fascinating to me because of how isolated the country was before it. I like how her research presents two parts of American culture (smoking and Christianity) and how they are at odds with one another. I think the second video clip should be up higher in the post since it seems to do more with her first book, but good job otherwise.


  2. Overall, I liked this post. I thought it was interesting that you chose someone so passionate about his or her subject. I also thought it was very cool that she has lived in Japan and has actually experienced the culture there. As a communication major, I do not know much about Japan, and I am interested to hear about her second book on smoking in Japan. I actually found this article that gave me somewhat of an idea about the smoking industry in Japan: http://www.tobacco-facts.net/tobacco-industry/japan-tobacco-production. I really liked that you had text, a video, more text and your final video. It broke up the story a bit and made it easier on the eyes. The videos could have been done a little better. First, I do not like the angle that the video was taken, it makes it look like the camera was looking up. Secondly, the video was shaky and at some points, part of her head was getting cut off at the top. To fix this, the camera could have been at least shoulder level with her, that way there would be more room above her head.


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